Friday, February 27, 2015

The Stroke Team

Teamwork is a big part of stroke recovery. With a major disease like this occurring to a person, a team of doctors helps the patient recover and rehabilitate into a normal life. So what doctors are making up this team?

A physician who specializes in the science of the nerves and the nervous system, especially of diseases affecting them.

A surgeon who operates on the brain and any surrounding tissue that was damaged during a stroke.

General Physician:
A physician who treats acute and chronic illnesses and provides preventative care and health education to patients.

Physical Therapist:
A therapist that specializes in the treatment or management of physical disability, malfunction, or pain by exercise, massage, or hydrotherapy.  

Occupational Therapist:
A therapist that specializes in the treatment or management of developing, recovering, and maintaining daily living and working skills. These therapists attend to helping the patient relearn how to  regain their independence in grooming, dressing, hygiene, and toileting.  
Speech Therapist:
A therapist that specializes in the treatment or management of communication problems and swallowing complications.

Each of these people is crucial in the treatment plan of the patient who suffered the stroke. Throughout the patients recovery, each of these people is in constant contact with each other about how the patient does with them. The physical therapist tells the neurologist how the patients is rehabilitating, who tells the rest of the team how the patient is doing with that specific person. Each person is equally important in the recovery and rehabilitation of the patient.
References: - Stroke Physician Team - January 2015 - Emory Healthcare. - Stroke: Treatment and Care - November 2013 - WebMD.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Integration of Core Curriculum into Physical Education Class

These days, school can be very difficult for children especially with the high standards and expectations they are required to stand up to.  The concept of integrated curriculum has been around since the 19th century and it is once again being focused on for educational change.1  While many school districts are putting Physical Education (PE) on the chopping block there may be a better solution.  Besides the benefits of the physical exercise and promotion of fitness that PE classes strive for, there is also another aspect that can be focused on.  Integration of core curriculum classes such as Math, Science, English, and Social Studies allows students to continue to master the concepts while participating in their PE class.  This requires both the participation of the PE teacher as well as the core curriculum teacher.  With both teachers teaming up together, the benefits are endless.

There are many simple ways to integrate in a PE class. To start, at a younger age such as Elementary school level, teachers can integrate math practices such as counting, adding and subtracting, and using odd and even numbers into their lesson plans.  Having students work on these concepts outside of the normal classroom will help them to realize how important and useful this information is.  This allows students to be able to recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of the class.1 If educators can show students the importance of this information it will help to motivate and encourage the students to learn the information.
More physical educators need to design and develop integrated lessons and share them with their colleagues in order to improve the interdisciplinary fit.1 Examples of school physical education curricula exist today that differ quite radically from a traditional sport and game oriented curriculum.2 In core curriculum, there are other aspects that teachers can integrate.  Skills such as social interaction and personal development skills, or thinking skills are selected and specifically taught as a significant part of the curriculum.2 If schools are able to participate in having integrated teachers, it will help to develop a well rounded and well educated student.
1Hatch, G. & Smith, D. (2013) Integrating Physical Education, Math and Physics. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. 75(1). 42-50 DOI:10.1080/07303084.2004.10608541
2Placek, J. & O’Sullivan, M. (2013). The Many Faces of Integrated Physical Education. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. 68(1). 20-24 DOI:10.1080/07303084.1997.10604872

Friday, February 20, 2015

Upper Body Exercises for the Stay at Home Mom
There are five different parts of your upper body, these consist of chest (pectoralis major), back, arms, core, and shoulder. Each part of the upper body is very important to focus on, just like leg day. There isn’t one part that is more important than the other, so getting them all equally worked is important as they all connect in some way. The core, or abdominal muscles, is a very important because those muscles connect up to your chest, to your back, and then connect down to your thighs. Working your back and shoulders will help your posture which in return helps prevent injuries. Having strong arms helps with everyday activities as well, such as reaching, grabbing, and carrying things.
For stay at home moms, upper body exercises are very important. Having a strong upper body allows mom’s to be able to multi task. Performing multiple tasks such as carrying a child and cooking dinner can kill the back if it lacks strength. Which proves to be even more important for moms to get fit and stay fit to help with their normal tasks of the day.
Chest- a good exercise for the chest would be bench, but since most moms do not have access to this equipment at home due to funds a mom could lay down on the floor or getting on a physio ball and using dumbbells or heavy books and pushing them upward would give them the same results.
Back- russian twists would be a good back exercise and this exercise also works out the obliques. The russian twists consist of you sitting on the floor and either holding a weight or holding your hands together and pick up your feet from the ground. Begin to twist your body and hit the weight or your fists into each side on the ground. Left and right count as one.
Core (Obliques)- There are so many different exercises for the core and they are easiest to do at home. Sit ups, russian twists, and leg climbs are just  a few that can be done.
Arms- Arm exercises would consist of curls, overhead press, and upright row. There are many more but these would be a good start for stay at home moms.
Shoulder- To start out a good exercise would be dumbbell lateral raises, rear deltoid fly, and upright rows.

Why Upper Body Exercises Are Crucial. (2013, May 14). Retrieved February 21, 2015, from

Weigel, A. (2014, October 23). 4 Must-Try Shoulder Shaping Exercises | Skinny Mom | Where Moms Get the Skinny on Healthy Living. Retrieved February 21, 2015, from

Distance Running a Thing of the Past

In my blog from last week I referenced two articles written by Eric Cressey that dealt with conditioning and training of pitchers and other athletes. This week my intent is to highlight a few parts of the first of the two articles and give my input on what is said.

In A New Model for Training Between Starts: Part 1 Cressey makes nine points on why he believes distance running is not the correct action for pitchers. His first point is that by running long distance your immune system becomes weaker, therefore the chances of spreading of any disease among the team is higher. Cressey references that in a review done in 2006 by Glesson that “post exercise immune function depression is most pronounced when exercise is continuous [and] prolonged.” So is the health of your players and team worth it?

Cressey points out the lifestyle of many baseball athletes from collegiate to the professional levels as another negative aspect. Many of the players deal with absurd sleeping hours from the crazy travel schedule and horrible dietary habits from being on the road as many of the clubhouses don't serve anything healthy or gourmet. Many of the meals for the players are done cheaply such as PB&J’s or pizza as many teams are on a budget. When you take these two factors into account along with the addition of too much alcohol you're creating a mess of the athletes hormonal environment as there is a reduction in testosterone and growth hormone output. Which are the same effects that are found in endurance athletes. Two negatives still don't make a right.

The third negative impact of distance running is that of mobility concerns. Pitchers who are dependent on having mobility in their hips to generate stride length and in turn higher velocity are being deprived by the action of jogging. The action of jogging doesn't engage the hip flexors like that of sprinting does, therefor, distance runners lose the flexibility. Last time I checked there weren't too many pitchers in the MLB that didn't have good velocity behind their fastball.

Due to the beast of the sport of baseball players are always at risk with a long season (the longest of all sports), overhead throwing (not a natural movement), and unilateral dominance. Unilateral dominance is mainly seen in the athletes that throw and hit from the same side. Cressey references Grey Cook as saying that asymmetry is the biggest predictor in injury. So what does this have to do with distance running? Well distance running doesn't help to correct these issues as the movement is a straightforward movement. As Cressey puts it pitchers are better off just shagging fly balls cause the are at least moving side to side

Lastly Cressey bluntly puts it, “distance running is boring”.  I’d have to agree, when was the last time that you or anyone other than an avid distance runner was excited about running distance? Probably doesn't happen too often. Just as any other training that is done whether it be for that Monday 8 am calculus class or the the next big start in front of a sold out crowd you're not going to get the most out of it unless you enjoy it. With this in mind and the fact that distance running is detrimental to the players career, how about we change the way that the athlete trains and lets make it fun or at least enjoyable.

For more of a in depth look at Cressey’s reasoning please visit his article linked above as well as his numerous other articles. In next weeks blog I will take a look at part 2 of these articles and highlight a few of my favorite points.

Cressey, E. (2008, January 31). A New Model for Training Between Starts: Part 1.
Retrieved February 21, 2015, from

Differences in the Sports Medicine Staff

Differences in the Sports Medicine Staff
In honor of National Athletic Training Month coming up in a few weeks, this blog is being written to talk about one of the most common mistakes the public makes in confusing the roles of the Sports Medicine Staff. There are numerous amounts of health care professionals that can make up a sports medicine staff, but the ones that are mixed up the most are athletic trainers, physical therapists, and personal trainers.   

Athletic Trainers

Athletic trainers are health care professionals that coincide with a physician to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. Athletic trainers treat a variety of patients, including: professional, college, secondary school and youth athletes, dancers, musicians and military personnel. Athletic trainers can work in a variety of locations including schools, physician clinics, and hospitals. 1,2

Physical Therapists

Physical therapists are healthcare professionals who diagnose and treat individuals, of all ages, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions, illnesses, or injuries that limits their abilities to move and perform functional activities as well as they would like in their daily lives. 1

         PT Scope of Practice
  • Examining (history, system review and tests and measures) individuals with impairment, functional limitation, and disability or other health-related conditions in order to determine a diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention.
  • Alleviating impairment and functional limitation by designing, implementing, and modifying therapeutic interventions.
  • Preventing injury, impairment, functional limitation, and disability, including the promotion and maintenance of health, wellness, fitness, and quality of life in all age populations.
  • Engaging in consultation, education, and research.

Personal Trainers

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCSs) are professionals who apply scientific knowledge to train athletes for the primary goal of improving athletic performance. They conduct sport-specific testing sessions, design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs and provide guidance regarding nutrition and injury prevention. They also work with physicians and athletic trainers to further a rehabilitation program for an athlete.  1,2

Each health care professional has a specific set of certifications and scopes of practice that they must follow to ensure the safety of every athlete. Though all are similar roles, each has an important part in the sports medicine staff and cooperation between these roles is key to ensuring the athlete’s best interest.


1 Link, A., What’s the difference between a personal trainer, athletic trainer, and physical      therapist. (2011). ACE., Retrieved from

2 Athletic Training., NATA., Retrieved from

Fad Diets & Negative Effects of Soy Protein

Fad diets have been a huge misconception for the average clientele for personal trainers the last decade. Pyramid schemes, magic creams and lotions, 7-minute workouts, and shakes for meals are many of the popular items making it difficult for trainers to find clients and keep them on the correct nutrition and exercise.

In the following read, you will be informed of just a few things about the proteins used in these popular diets and schemes that can cause harm to your mind and body rather than positive results.

A popular routine that has been presented by companies like Herbalife, Advocare, Shakeology, and others is using a shake as a meal replacement. Many of these companies use the ingredients soy protein isolate and soy lecithin. In simple terms, the bottom of protein food chain and the lowest value you put in your body.

Soy protein can inhibit testosterone and growth hormone production, so for the average person or even child, a very bad thing. Testosterone and growth hormone are the two main hormones in the body used to create muscle.

Soy contains large amounts of biologically active compounds called isoflavones, which function as phytoestrogens… that is, plant-based compounds that can activate estrogen receptors in the human body.1 So for the fitness enthusiast venturing into a new workout regimen, why would they want more estrogen to cause us to lose even more testosterone?
Animal studies show that soy isoflavones can cause breast cancer. There are also human studies showing that soy isoflavones can stimulate the proliferation and activity of cells in the breasts. 1

In one study, 48 women were split into two groups. One group ate their normal diet, the other supplemented with 60 grams of soy protein.1
After only 14 days, the soy protein group had significant increases in proliferation (increase in number) of the epithelial cells in the breasts, which are the cells that are most likely to turn cancerous.1

A protein of whey, milk, casein, hydrolyzed or a blend of all is the best option for someone wants to add extra amount of protein into their diet. But you want to remember using a shake as a meal, even with protein, is highly frowned upon. With a shake you will never get the same amount of calories, carbohydrates, or fats needed to fulfill your body’s nutrient needs.

Another huge mistake I have noticed when potential clients or even just members of a gym are asking questions is the amount of money they are spending on the products from these protein powders and shakes. Herbalife protein is strictly soy protein isolate, as I said before the lowest of the low, which costs roughly $40-$50 a pound (actually 12.7 oz) depending where you order (Herbalife distributor, eBay, Amazon, etc.)2 In the eyes of a personal trainer who despises this protein, charging that high of an amount for a low quality protein is absurd.

A great quality protein, a hydrolyzed protein blend, like Optimum Nutrition HydroWhey is roughly $40-$50 for a much higher quality of protein for close to four pounds!3

So tell me this, when you have a company advertising and marketing their pyramid scheme company to the masses for unbelievable results for a low quality protein for three times the price, why would you give them business? Or do your research and find the correct products that will fuel and rebuild your body in the best way possible for a great price.

Although these are just a couple of shortcomings I have seen from these product lines and companies, I highly support the use of supplements and proteins for certain needs of a persons nutrition and diet.

Herbalife Protein Powder 12.7 oz. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2015, from

Is Soy Bad For You, or Good? The Shocking Truth. (2013, September 22). Retrieved February 16, 2015, from

Platinum Hydrowhey. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2015, from

The Evolution of the Game: National Signing Day

The first Wednesday in February, National Signing Day, is the most anticipated Wednesday of the entire year. On this day high school football recruits sign their Letter of Intent, which states what school they will be attending and fax it into their respected coach. With the growth of social media over the past decade this day has become more of a circus than anything. On this prestigious Wednesday, television channels such as ESPN flock to high schools all over the nation with wall to wall coverage to see highly recruited athletes make their decisions.  The player could just sign the LOI and go on with their day, but most athletes like to take full advantage of time slot on ESPNU. So what do they do? From the limos to the first rate suits, to the bag with their top five schools hats in it the athletes spare no expense in letting the world know what school  they will be attending in the fall.
Courtesy of Field Street Forum
       Some college coaches are tired of this circus and have come up with a simple plan. Eliminate National Signing Day. When a school makes an offer and a recruit accepts, he signs. At any time. End of story. End of drama. One of the supporters of ending national signing day, Rich Rodriguez head coach at the University of Arizona said they have made Signing Day an event when it should not be an event, but what if the first Wednesday in February passed without fanfare because coaches had been signing up players all along, and because some of the top prospects were still weighing their options?1   It just might make coaches think twice about throwing out 125 offers when they can sign only 25 players. It just might make players get more serious about choosing a school rather than a coach, no more circus atmosphere surrounding the most serious decision of these young men's lives.2

1Staples, A. (2015, February 11). As Rich Rodriguez knows, ending National Signing Day could be beneficial for all. Retrieved February 16, 2015.

2Scarbinsky, K. (2015, February 15). No more National Signing Day? Yes, please. Retrieved February 16, 2015.

Creating a Healthy Relationship Between Your Recovery and Hydration

Water is an important component to our health and recovery. In fact, our bodies consist of approximately 70% water. Dehydration of as little as 1-2% of body weight can compromise physical or cognitive performance. Think of the detrimental effects it can have on a recovery from an intense workout or after an injury.  As an athlete suffering at this level of dehydration, you may begin to experience salty sweat, fatigue, dry mouth/throat, upset stomach, or even a decrease in physical performance. There is also a greater risk of exertional heat injury. It’s crucial for fluid replacement practices that optimize hydration status before, during, and after competition.

Dehydration of greater than 3% of body weight further disturbs physiologic function and increases an athlete’s risk of developing an exertional heat illness, such as, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke.[1] This level of dehydration can happen in less than one hour if the athlete is already dehydrated going into exercise or competition.

As an athlete, it’s important to be educated about the ways you can stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise. In order to fully recover after a hard workout or competition, your body has to have fluids, sodium, potassium, and others essential components replaced in order to heal. A few things to remember when you’re working hard and sweating profusely are:

  • Sports drinks, pickle juice, or fruits like bananas are excellent sources of sodium, potassium, and electrolytes that will help your body heal more quickly.
  • Fluid replacement should be be close to the amount of fluid loss and should keep the body at less than 2% of body weight from dehydration. Typically, you should have 6-8 fl oz to every 15 to 20 minutes of moderate exercise.
  • In order to have a speedy and complete recovery from dehydration, you should drink 1.5L of fluid for each kilogram of body weight loss during exercise.

Remaining hydrated will enhance cardiovascular function, thermoregulatory function, muscle functioning, fluid volume status, and exercise performance. The Autonomic Nervous System will also peak and remain sharp during competition.[2]

While hydration before and during exercise is essential for good athletic performance, hydration after exercise is highly important to the athlete’s overall health. A high rate of fluid consumption during the first two hours of post-exercise rehydration is known to increase plasma volume significantly. Rehydrating after exercise should be geared towards correcting fluid loss with water, as well as carbohydrates to restore glycogen levels, and electrolytes. To have an immediate recovery, it’s important that you receive these within the first hour after exercise. Water is an essential beverage to helping in rehydrating the body. However, sports drinks with little sugar can aid in receiving carbohydrates, electrolytes, sodium, and potassium.

Replacement of sweat losses is an essential part of the recovery process. Exercise performance will be impaired if complete rehydration does not occur. It’s crucial for you as an athlete to make a full hydration recovery after each performance or injury so that you can jump back to your exercise or competition faster and to your full performance potential.
Casa, D., Armstrong, L., Hillman, S., Montain, S., & Reiff, R. (2000). National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Fluid Replacement for Athletes. Journal of Athletic Training, 35(2), 212-224. Retrieved February 13, 2015, from

Decker, M. (2014, February 2). Current and Potential Practices in Athletic Training. Retrieved February 13, 2015, from

Dupont, D. (2013, October 2). Staying Hydrated Helps Heart Rate Recover Faster. Retrieved February 13, 2015, from

Back to Fitness Basics: Becoming a Healthy Shopper

So what have you done this week? Have you, “developed a good accountability group”? What about, “starting a resistance training program”? By this point you must be doing well for yourself as you continue your journey to a healthier you. The next step we will discuss today is grocery shopping. The bulk of your health results will be actually what you consume in your daily diet. Specifically today, I will discuss what exactly you should do when you go grocery shopping in order to become a healthy shopper. 
A lot of times, my clients tell me the thing they struggle with the most is simply what to eat, or what not to eat. The best place to start is your grocery shopping habits. The first thing to consider when grocery shopping, is the layout of the building. “Grocery stores are strategically and systematically constructed.” Think for a minute about the store you most frequent for food shopping. There are the aisles and the perimeter of the store.  Along the perimeter is the fruits and vegetables; meats, dairy, and eggs.  In the aisles, all of the packaged, processed foods.” 1. As you change your eating habits, you will want to naturally purchase healthier foods to consume. By doing this you will want to stick to the perimeter within a grocery store to purchase your nutrient rich whole foods such as: meats, dairy, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. Stay away from the middle aisles as they contain mostly processed foods that can hinder your health goals, because they have less nutrients available.
Next thing to consider when grocery shopping, is to develop a shopping list before you ever step into the grocery store. “Take the time to write down the items you need for the week, and try your best to not stray from your list.” 2. This method can become some security to your shopping plan, because it can keep you from purchasing unhealthy items that will not benefit your health goals along with helping to save precious time and money. We will discuss the importance of your shopping plan in a later Back to Fitness blog about meal prepping.
There you have it! I want you to develop a detailed grocery list this week and shop with a purpose while sticking to the perimeter of the grocery store. Doing this will ensure that you add more nutritious items to your meals and consume less products that are unhealthy. Fueling right is important on your journey to a healthier you, so make it a goal this week to start becoming a healthy shopper.

1.Surviving the Jungle Known as the Grocery Store. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2015, from
2.Transform Your Grocery Shopping Experience. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2015, from

Approaching the 110 Hurdles

When running the one hundred and ten meter hurdles a major thing to consider is how much time you spend in the air.  One thing to keep in mind is the less time in the air the better. Since being on the ground and driving the legs is key for a good race the first eight steps to the hurdle is extremely important. Sometimes the race can be won or lost at the first hurdle, and by taking special care to understand your approach, it will greatly help your odds of being on the medal stand. “Most athletes will take 8 steps to the first hurdle.”1 During those eight steps the athlete needs to free his mind and at the same time concentrate on not rising up too quickly or too late. Here are a few tips to help with the approach.
  • While in the blocks stare at the ground. (This helps keep from rising too quickly.)
  • When the gun goes off gain as much ground as you can with your first step.
  • Maintain a low forward lean the first four to five steps.
  • When driving the out of the blocks, the one hundred and ten meter hurdler will rise slightly faster than an athlete who is running a one hundred meter dash. (This happens so the athlete can locate the hurdle.)
  • At the first hurdle the athlete must go over it in full stride with no stutter steps. (Stutter steps slows the athletes momentum making it difficult to be able to continue to attack the hurdles)

After that eighth step the athlete needs to be prepared to not jump, but take a very high aggressive step while leaning forward with a slight upright torso. This lean keeps the athlete from potentially sailing the hurdle. Sailing is where the athlete does not get their foot on the ground immediately after the hurdle causing to athlete to hang in the air losing precious ground that could be used to drive to the next hurdle. “In the hurdling motion, I urge my athletes to push off the back leg with force, put themselves in a position where they are looking down on the hurdle.”2 By doing this the athlete will get the sensation that they are gaining momentum, and this sensation is caused by the aggressive form that the athlete is using minimizing the time in the air. Combine staying out of the air with an aggressive drive phase toward the first hurdle, and the approach will take care of itself.

1 Giroux, J. (n.d.). 110 and 100 Meter Hurdles. Retrieved February 16, 2015, from

2 McGill, S. (2011, January 1). Forward Momentum in the Blocks - Hurdles First. Retrieved February 16, 2015, from

Molded vs. Metal Cleats

    Softball cleats have been used for years to improve the traction and mobility of softball players on the field. With technological advances in design, cleats have become more durable on the field, in play and in competition.  Molded cleats have been used by the majority of past softball players.   In the most recent years, metal cleats have been the prefered style of shoe worn by softball players in most softball leagues. Although there is little difference in the appearance of the designs, each cleat allows for different benefits.
Molded Cleats
“Molded cleats are generally made of rubber or hard plastic. These cleats are the easiest to maintain and clean, and they generally last longer.”3 They are designed for younger players in youth leagues, but the young softball athletes  easily outgrow their cleats and do not need them for a long period of time. “The higher priced molded cleats are made of a stiffer rubberized plastic material that varies for different manufacturers, which are designed to give the most traction to a player before going to a metal cleat.”1 Many players will graduate from molded cleats to metal cleats when they get into high school softball or older select leagues of softball.
Metal Cleats
Metal cleats have been the primary choice for professional and collegiate players all around the world, because metal cleats have a much lighter feel to them. These cleats are very easy to recognize when walking because everyone can hear the metal spike on hard surfaces. The metal cleats are the thinnest and can penetrate the ground the easiest in both dirt and grass. “Metal cleats also give you better grip on soft ground, giving you the extra step of advantage when stealing bases or pivoting to dive for the line drive.”2
           When deciding what cleat players want to purchase, it should be less about the advantages that the cleats offer and more about what level in the sport you are entering. Most youth and younger leagues do not allow metal cleats, because this type of cleat can harm novice skilled individuals that are not as experienced as veteran players. So before they purchase a pair of cleats make sure the league allows the type you are considering to purchase.
1Baseball and Softball Cleat Buying Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2015, from
2Molded vs. Metal Fastpitch Softball Cleats. (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2015, from
3How to Choose a Pair of Softball Cleats | (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2015, from